Amnesty International has called for an investigation into allegations that Egypt’s National Security Agency (NSA) is secretly detaining and torturing people in the name of counter-terrorism.
The human rights organisation requested Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to set up an independent commission to inquire about the alleged ill-treatment of detainees by the NSA and other agencies.
A new report, titled 'Egypt: Officially, you do not exist’, documents abduction of students, political activists and protesters including children as young as 14 years of age.
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther said: “Enforced disappearance has become a key instrument of state policy in Egypt.
“Anyone who dares to speak out is at risk, with counter-terrorism being used as an excuse to abduct, interrogate and torture people who challenge the authorities.
“The report exposes not only the brutality faced by those disappeared but also the collusion between national security forces and judicial authorities, who have been prepared to lie to cover their tracks or failed to investigate torture allegations, making them complicit in serious human rights violations.”
Egypt’s security services are clamed to have forcibly made hundreds of people disappear and tortured them in the past year to wipe out peaceful dissent.
According to local non-governmental organisations (NGO), nearly three to four people are abducted every day, and are kept blindfolded and handcuffed for months.
However, the Egyptian authorities have repeatedly denied involvement in disappearances and killings.
Despite evidence of human rights violations, many countries maintain close diplomatic and trade ties with Egypt, as well as supply arms and related equipment.
Luther added: “President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi must order all state security agencies to stop enforced disappearances, torture and other forms of ill-treatment and make clear that anyone who orders, commits or is complicit in such violations will be brought to justice.
“All those still held in such conditions must be given access to their lawyers and families. Those held solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly must be immediately and unconditionally released.”
Image: Even children have been tortured by interrogators from Egypt's notorious National Security Agency. Photo: © Amnesty International.